Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to leave for London in early hours of tomorrow, subject to go-ahead by his doctors, a Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader has revealed.
“An air ambulance has been booked by Hussain [Nawaz’s son] that will arrive here in Lahore on Tuesday, and subject to permission of his doctors, Nawaz will leave for London on the same day,” the leader said, who was not identified.
“His brother Shehbaz Sharif and [personal physician] Dr Adnan Khan are accompanying him as per the existing understanding. It (is to be decided) as to who else could also fly with Mian Sahib [Nawaz],” the leader added.
PML-N Punjab spokesperson Azma Bukhari said: “Doctors are currently treating the former premier for multiple conditions, including blood pressure, diabetes and the most critical of all, immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), due to which he is not fit to fly.”
Given the high dose of steroids, she said, there was swelling on his body. “His platelet count again dropped to 15,000 on Friday.”
Bukhari said she was not aware of any new test results.
“Doctors would be transfusing him with mega kits to artificially increase his platelet count to at least 30,000 to 35,000 – the lowest level required to fly,” she said.
Bukhari stressed that Sharif’s travel schedule would be subject to doctor’s approval.
She said the air ambulance was likely to be booked from Qatar, after consultation with his doctors.
The PML-N leader added that Sharif would not fly directly to London. “He would first make a stopover in Dubai or Qatar. The doctors have advised him not to fly for more than five hours at a stretch.”
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement that the party “thanks God for paving the way for Nawaz Sharif’s treatment abroad” and “prays for his speedy recovery”.
She said that preparations to send the PML-N supremo for treatment were under way on emergency basis, adding that to make him medically fit for travel, the doctors required 48 hours.
These, she said, included boosting his platelet count and taking measures to prevent cardiovascular complications.
“Mian Sahib’s [Nawaz’s] medical condition is so critical that doctors are trying their best to do everything they can to prevent an emergency complication during the flight,” she added.
The former information minister said that the doctors conducted a thorough examination of Sharif yesterday and held discussions on how to prepare the PML-N supremo for travel.
Meanwhile, the party has issued a statement on Twitter, urging the nation to pray for Sharif’s health.
Sharif’s personal physician, Dr Khan, has stated that the PML-N leader will travel to London in the next 48 hours once he’s “clinically stable”.
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